Visions du Réel 2020: Online Edition

Visions du Réel — one of the world’s most prominent documentary film festivals — is moving to an online environment for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been working closely with the festival for the past few weeks and are now proud to present you with the Atelier retrospectives from April 17 to May 2. Among these retrospectives, you’ll find the work of Canadian director Peter Mettler and Brazilian filmmaker Petra Costa. But we haven’t even got to the best part yet: you won't need accreditation or a subscription to watch them as all films are available for free!

Brazilian documentary filmmaker Petra Costa became a household name at the beginning of this year after her film, The Edge of Democracy (2019), earned an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. In it, Costa openly criticises the current political situation in Brazil; and as a result, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has labelled her an anti-Brazilian activist. Petra Costa has been known to the documentary world for quite some time now. Her films, which tend to blur the lines between fiction and documentary, have become huge hits at many major international festivals around the globe since she first came out on the scene. Her debut film, Elena (2012), received its world premiere at the prestigious IDFA Festival in Amsterdam whilst her second film, Olmo and the Seagull (2015), was screened in the southern Swiss town of Locarno. This special programme will also include an exclusive online masterclass given by the director herself, which we will present to you on Thursday, 30 April 2020.

Peter Mettler, an experienced Canadian filmmaker with Swiss roots, will also present his films, which often explore the limits of human perception using a hybrid form that balances between essay, documentary, and fiction. His most acclaimed film is Gambling, Gods and LSD (2002), which, in an impressive musical-visual mosaic, composes scenes about the relationship between man and nature, the human sense of security, our relationship with death and, on the whole, all things that transcend us. He approached his work in a similar vein with the films Picture of Light (1994) and The End of Time (2012). In 2018, Mettler introduced his latest film, Becoming Animal, in which he and philosopher David Abrams explore the interconnection of the human world with the fascinating world of nature. His works can be seen regularly at all major film festivals around the world and his retrospectives have been hosted by such festivals as Toronto IFF, Hot Docs, BAFICI and the prestigious Film at Lincoln Center cinema in New York. The latest screening of his films at Visions du Réel will also be accompanied by an online masterclass, which you can look forward to on Friday, 1 May.

The Grand Angle competition can be found under Visions du Réel: Grand Angle.

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